LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

MEPs and Mogherini: need for human rights ‘outside and inside our borders’

Yesterday the European Parliament adopted its Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 authored by Pier Antonio Panzeri which includes, amongst others, important recommendations in relation to the rights of LGBTI people.

During the debate on the report High Representative and Vice president Mogherini reiterated that ‘protection of human rights is and will remain the overarching priority of our external action, not one of the priorities but THE priority’

390 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of the report condemning criminalization of and the recent increase in discriminatory laws towards LGBTI people and encouraging EU institutions to raise LGBTI human rights issues with third countries and support LGBTI groups with EU financial instruments. Importantly, the report calls for depathologisation of trans identities and for outlawing sterilisation as a requirement for legal gender recognition. MEPs also called on the EU and its Member States to support civil society and defend its important space by monitoring and condemning all restrictions on freedom of assembly and association, including bans on civil society organisations.

MEPs who voted for the report and HRVP Mogherini, speaking during the plenary debate, also had a strong message for the EU regarding its internal human rights record, calling for greater external/internal coherence. HRVP Mogherini stressed the importance of being consistent on human rights ‘outside and inside our borders’.

We congratulate MEPs for this firm support for LGBTI rights in EU’s external action and encourage them to keep the pressure on the European Commission and Member states regarding LGBTI human rights in EU by calling for a comprehensive EU LGBTI Action Plan.